Oh, how we Canadians love our lakes!
Ancient glaciers, unique to our country, have blessed us with over thirty million lakes. In this book, Casey writes about lakes in several province, in all four seasons. The journey begins in Saskatchewan, where his family cottage, built in 1960 for $2500, marked him for life - first boat, first outboard motor, first water-skiing. He feels compelled to return to Emma Lake, even as he laments the invasion of "super-size-me" mansions.
In each chapter, the narrative moves from musings on Grey Owl's cabin in Prince Albert National Park to descriptions of a stint aboard a research vessel investigating algae on Lake Winnipeg. From observations on the sea/freshwater lakes and Gaelic traditions of Cape Breton, to Gros Morne's "ponds," teeming with moose and hunters and Europeans who fly over to enjoy the deep inland fjords. From witnessing the bleak silence of Uranium City on the Lake Athabasca winter road and the unique desert biodiversity of Lake Okanagan valley, poised precariously between preservation and development. From glimpses into year-round island life on Lake of the Woods, to a wild boat trip across Lake Nipissing, with its former boom towns caught between filling lodges and appeasing indigenous fishers. From awkward conversations in Lac Saint Jean, where "pure laine" Quebecois families hold street festivals and applaud cross-lake swimmers, to the scenic challenges of Waterton Lakes' extreme heights and extreme weather. After his mother's death, Casey returns to the family cottage, where he arrives at a conflicted resolution about his future on Emma Lake.
Throughout this far-ranging, and at times poetic, book, Casey introduces us to fascinating and quirky "lake people." He also reminds us how our water-inundated geography and sprawling history have bound us to our wilderness and how, despite costs and travel, Canadians flock to lakes for rest and recreation. And that is another main thrust of the book - how our love of lakes endangers them.